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Full text of "The Union Jack [microform]"

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I CKI15 

Cbe Union Jack ^- 



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By B«rl0« emilxrlMa 




-I- 



REPRINTED FROM THE CAKADIAS COCKIER. 
JANUARY 9. 



THE UNION JACK 

By BAELOW CUSfBRBLAND. 

UNDER the heading of "Le Drap au de la 
Confederation" (The Dominion Ensign) 
there recently appeared in the columns of 
La Presse, of Montreal, an article rather 
taking to task the Educational Department of 
British Columbia for having directe<l that the 
Union Flag, generally known as the "Union Jack," 
should be officially raised over the Public Schools 
of that Province, the direction being that the 
Union Jack, and not the Canadian Ensign, should 
be so used. It is to this latter regulation that objec- 
tion was made. 

Apart from the question of this particular regu- 
lation, it may be well to first consider the general 
subject of the using of flags. 

At sea and afloat the indication of the nationality 
and ownership an<l of the rank of the vessel itself 
or of the personages on board is of so much im- 
portance that by all countries and at all ti 
finite and imperative regulations have \»_ 
for their proper and official display. T8e 
a flag without due authority renders th»: 
her captain subject to penalties and find 

National flags carry with them to fore! 

the power and protection of the authority 

they represent. Wherever a British ship sails she 
carries with her Che presence of British sover- 
eignty and law. Her deck is as sacred to friend 
and foe as the soil of the country whose flag she 
bears. 

On land, within the precincts of tueir own coun- 
try there ire always distinct regulations for the 
use of certain flags for official purposes, but their 
use by private individuals is governed more by 
personal selection than by any set rules. They 
are being displayed by friends in the midst of 
friends, yet their use should always be governed 
by propriety. 

The Royal Standard is the personal flag of the 
King, or proclaims the presence of some member of 
the Royal Family. It would not be thought proper 
to use it unless it might be on some special occasion 
or anniversary in honour of the Sovereign. 




It would scarceiy be considered appropriate th 
a private individual »hould use the special flag o. 
the Governor-General, or of a Lieutenant-Governor, 
the latter beiuR the Union Jack with the arms of 
his Province in the centre. 

Propriet would also indicate to a foreigner that 
as a private individual he should not raise his foreign 
nag unless at the same time he displayed the flag 
of the country on whose soil he might be: In 
these ami other like instances propriety should 
rule, and unpleasant misunderstandings would 
thereby be avoided. Should he, however, be a 
Consul or an official representative of a foreign 
nation then the rai.sing of his country's flag over 
his official residence is justified, and carries wit'i it, 
as on a ship, the evidence of its nation, and is 
entitled to be respected as though it were upon its 
own country's soil. 

Specific instructions for thi official use of na- 
tional flags are necessary, therefore both >n land 
and at sea and when issued should be willinelv 
obeyed. * ' 

■■■■jilt flags then may be used in general by pri- 

mti»h_ person... on British soil? 

The Union Jack in the early centuries was 
auttorisM to be used at sea only on the King's 
shipt- !jobso(|uently regu.ations have been issued 
. V'-m """^ "" other ships, and on land on military 
BSBWpns and official buildings. A usage, world- 
wide, in all British countries has grown up in the 
flying of this flag by private persons on land, but 
except by inference no definite authority had been 
given for the loyal practice. 

In reply to ...y enquiry, as President of the 
Ontario Historical Society, stating the position and 
usage and asking for the authority, the following 
letter w.ts received: 

samlrineham^ JJfirfolk^ agth JJec., 1907. __; 

Sir,— TiT reply to your letter of the 9th miF.. I 

beg to inform you that the "Union Jack," being 

the national flag, may be flown by British subjects 

private or official, on land. 

p 1 ^ u , . (Signed) KNOLLYS. 

Barlow Cumberland, Esq. 

By tliis letter of the Private Secretary of Kis 
Maiesty, the King, the usage is thus confirmed and 
authorised. 




Formal 'leolaratiot. has also been ,ince hsw,] 
by the Home Office in F.ni.laml 'ihal ihe Uni.m 
Jack was to Ik- regarded as the national flag, and 
may be i,sed Renerally by British subjects on 

A nritish subject may therefore always use the 
Union Jack on BrKish soil. 

The three crosses of the three nat'ons whose 
union It first typified have ■ nice expanded far 
Iwyond the United Kingdom of the parent isles. 

1 he sons of the Kingdoms hive in centuries of 
prowess carried it far afield, and bringing distant 
cjminents beneath iis realm, have built up the 
Oominions beyond the seas in .Australia. Cana.la 
India, isouth .Africa, and the myriad islands of tht' 
m:e<.ns. so that it has Iwcome the Union Jack of the 
British Empire. 

It is in this respect that La Press,- has erre<l in 
describing u as "le drapeau dAngleterr,," (the 
flag of England). On the contran- it is not the 
Hag of any single one of the nations, but is the 
union emblem of all the British, who, whether 
originating in the old lands or arising beneath it. 
protection in its expansion in othei land*... nise 
It over their portions of the British Erdret in 
united allegiance and loyalty to their Unio^Swr*. 
'e.gn and British Tealm. 

This, then, is the one flag wliich may be and by 
al the united nations around the world, the 
National Flag of the British Empire 

But there are also loyal and local flags which 
may be used in each. 

The flag of the Englishman is the Red Cro.^s of 
St. George, on a white ground; of the Scotsman, 
the white cross of St. Andrew, on a blue groumi 
or his upstanding hon; and o,' the Irishman, his 
bt. Fatrict .s cross or his harp and crown. These 
are the loca' flags of their home countries 

The loca. ensign of i;ie Australians, adopted at 
their union, is the Sorthern cross, upon a red 
^■■ound, with the Union Jack in the upper corner 
Such, too, IS "le Drapeau de la Confederation." our 
Canadian ensign. In its broad red field are the 
arms of the Dominion of Ciinrda. as the sign of 
our Canadian Union: in the upper corner is the 
Union JacK as sign of our British Union. As the 
other local flags are t-^ each the emblems of their 



home country m.l their lineaife. so too is the Cana- 
dian hnsiKn, the eml.lem of ,mr own home coim- 
<ZnT ""' *■■""""« '"""'«'■ ""'"^'' ffo"' ''«an to 
It was very noticeable at the recent celebration 

f^ ' T ?u '"I T^rr«"'"«fy "' 'he loun.tation 
. of Canada that the Union Jack and the Cana.lian 
Ens.Rn were displayed much more generally and 
the Tricolour much less than previously, ami rea- 
sonably so, for the Tricolour of modern France 
K nnly of a later date and docs not represent any- 
hinK in his allegiance or his history to the French- 
Lanadian. A quarter of a century before it came 
into existence in the revolutionary period of ^he 
modern Prench, the French-speaking Canadian of 
more ancient lineage had ad,,pte.l his allegiance 
an<l self-government under the Union Ja-k .md 
has loyally fought im.ler it for the .iefcnce of 
Ills home and Itberties in the wars of 1775 and 

AS the white ensign and fleur-de-lis of Cham- 
plain had before been the flag of his forefathers, so 
the Ujmi Jack has now for a century and a half 
^|M|a^^Jjnion flag of our French-speaking de- 
I^^^^^^H Canada, and whether by itself or as 
■^^^^^H de la Confederation, is the guardian 
^^^^^9|^F"' united progress. 

^PWffH already been noted that wl 1 flags are 
o W employed for official purpo.,..s ,. is requisite 
that definite regulations shall be issued for tl.eir 
use. In Canada we raise the Union Jack on our 
Parliament and Legi.*lative Buildings as indicating 
the presence of Government under the British 
Constitutioii : on our law courts, of the administra- 
lon of British law; and on our municipal and 
home buildings, the Canadian Ensign, as evidence 
of our personal and local rule and lineage. When 
flags are to be raised ovor our Public Schools it is 
manifest that for so important and public a service 
111 th; instruction of our children distinct regula- 
tions require to be made so that tbey mav be dulv 
authorised and similarlv displayed. 
.u The lessons that these flags convey should be 
those of the widest patriotism, the most paramount 
in their meaning. 

We are eng ged in Canada in the most mo- 
mentous problem in nation-building that is laid 
6 



upon any people of the ; .wnt dav. Pilgrim, ae 
coming ,o ^ from H nations of li.e ea.nh Ueav, g 
thc.r oripnal allegiance anj their previous national 

allegiance uncter another nationa. flag Thiv com,- 
h/nl?. , »''''»"'»K'',» "f British protection and 
the right* of nritish citiienship. The parents have 
come to he members of the most world-wide and 
greatest fcmpire the woi has ever known, an<l 
at, they and their chil.lun see our Union lack 
raised over the Pid.iic Schools they will quickly 
acquire the womlrou, lessons that its waving 

thifrowr*^ ' '" '"" *"'' '"l*"-'' " »* 

1,; JI' '^?"'^^ °' ""*■"'? ""=*Ke. they arc from our 
kindred lands or arc of our own upbringing, then 
under the Union Jack they will unitedly ami in 
union feel at home, for it is ;he union Hag of the 
British of all races and tong-ies. 

Is it not an inspiration f' ourselves to have it 
brought to mind that our inion flag floats o 

ttl7h,T-^ "'".V™ """"""■' •" ^'«= *""'''» surface 
It s hailed as their union emblem by 400.000,000 of 
fel low-patriats, in every clime, of many laafcuages 
ami a. I religious faiths, each dearly lovir* their 
own native land, but united in loyal btrr lood 
with their fellow yet far-distant Britons m: ^^ 
one British King and Empire? « me 

In Manitoba. Omario. and now in British 
Co umbia the Union Jack is the flag which has been 
instructed to be raised over the Public Schools, and 
also m Australia ami in the British Isles 

The patriotic celebration of "Empire Dav " 
which first originated in the schools in Cana.la is 
fast extending through the schools of the Empire 
On his day as well as on other notable days, aimro- 
pnate addresses are given, the national flag is 

AnTh^^^ r"^- *•"'' '**''"'"'• «"'• 'he National 
Anthem and pa.. lotic songs sung by the scholars. 
It IS recorded by Lord Meath that in the Public 
wwf° 1- ^ ^'"P"'* ^•°°°-°°o children united in 
1907 in this celebration; the record for this present 
year will be far m excess, and in time it is fair 

Schooir* " ^*''"^'' '" *" *■'' P""'*^ 

all iL^Ur?"' ""i?" Ja*. the one flag common to 
all the Britons, which was thus raised on all these 



schools in all these lands. With such examples 
and such an inspiration, the local loyal ensigns in 
our sister-countries and our own arc yet as much 
esteemed and displayed, but in this education of 
our hearts and youth we thus join hands in union 
with our brethren around the world. 

That British Columbia has joined the circle is 
what, from its history, would be reasonably ex- 
pected, and perhaps with much local propriety, for 
the Union Jack forms the upper part of the British 
Columbia Provincial Coat-of-Arms. Objection can- 
not well be made to the decision of her educational 
authorities. 

Canada has now entered upon the fourth cen- 
tury of her history. In the Old Land varjing 
races, as A..gles and Saxons, Norsemen and Nor- 
mans, held successive sway, bearing their share in 
the formation and character of the realm, and 
these many nationalities were fused together. 
The internecine wars of the Roses at last spent 
their dividing forces, and all difference:, have been 
blended in completed union. We have been con- 
tinuinakthis same expansion of nationality on an- 
,ptheii^fcitinent under similar phases, but at greater 
ni decade adding its duties and responsi- 
we develop the previously unoccupied 

^— ^ J of its northern half. Of this progress 

our Union Jack reminds us.. Under the single cross 
flag of Richard the Lion-hearted, the great-grandson 
of William of Normandy, our Atlantic Sea Pro- 
vinces were planted. Under the two-crossed Jack, 
French Canada came into our Union, the United 
Empire Loyalists in loyal fidelity followed it into 
our country, and our coasts on the Pacific were 
added by Vancouver. Under the three-crossed Jack 
all our Canadians rose as one man and joined to 
repel the invaders from the South, who had sought 
to compel us to leave its allegiance, and under it 
we have achieved the completion of our United 
Dominion. 

It is the record of our history, the signal of our 
Northern zone, t^c flag of our Empire. In this 
wealth of meaning and as evidence to all men of 
the British liberties which it maintains, it has 
been directed to be raised over our Public Schools 
as a lesson, an inspiration and a talisman to all who 
live and grow beneath its storied folds. 



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